• New York,
    New York,
    United States
  • January
  • 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Chris Cabeza

Middle Island, New York, United States
1 15
"Triple Harlem Hill in Central Park"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Chris Cabeza's thoughts:

My first physical race of the year brought me out to Central Park in New York City for the NYRR’s Fred Lebow Half Marathon on January 19, 2020. This race honors the late NYRR president and New York City Marathon co-founder, Fred Lebow (1932–1994).

The Fred Lebow Half had 5,283 runners cross the finish line (3,250 men and 2,033 women). Registrants received a great winter cap from New Balance with the race logo and name on it and a beautiful medal that NYRR members could get engraved with their name and race time.

The NYYR were well prepared for the runners on race day and had a very well organized bag check, bib pick up, plenty of bathrooms to use, and some fun music playing before the race as well to keep spirits high. Given that the race start/finish was not located near the Naumburg Bandshell like usual when the NYRR holds races in Central Park, there wasn’t really much in terms of a pre/after party which was a little disappointing.

This year’s race had a slightly altered route around Central Park in New York City. Starting on East Drive just south of the 102nd Street Cross Drive runners completed two-plus full loops of the outer ring of the park which brought them north on East Drive through the Harlem Hills and continued south on West Drive to the lower loop of the park before heading north on East Drive and passing the start line. Runners completed a second loop of the same route, and then ran the north bend of the park a third time before finishing on the 102nd Street Cross Drive near West Drive. The most challenging part of this course was Harlem Hill. Running this hill once is fine and even twice is okay but can be tough depending how much energy you have left on the second climb. However, this race had runners run up Harlem Hill a third time and this last and final climb happened to be in the thirteenth mile of this Half marathon.

The Fred Lebow Half definitely brought some challenges to the runners. Some of these challenges included running Harlem Hill three times, some soggy winter weather, and a less than enthusiastic crowd to support runners. Even with those challenges faces its runners I would recommend this race to runners in the area.

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